Praying through a passage of scripture with others is one of my favorite practices. Below you’ll find a guide to praying through Psalm 33. I’d love for you to gather friends, neighbors, or co-workers and walk through this together. I pray it encourages your heart and draws your thoughts to the throne.
Praying Through Psalm 33
-Psalm 33 is a beautiful hymn of praise to our Almighty, Creator God. Together, read the entire psalm aloud.
The Steadfast Love of the Lord
hShout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous!
iPraise befits the upright.
2 Give thanks to the LORD with the jlyre;
make melody to him with jthe harp of kten strings!
3 Sing to him la new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
4 For the word of the LORD is upright,
and all his work is done in mfaithfulness.
5 He nloves righteousness and justice;
othe earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.
6 By pthe word of the LORD the heavens were made,
and by qthe breath of his mouth all rtheir host.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea as sa heap;
he tputs the deeps in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
9 For uhe spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10 The LORD vbrings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 wThe counsel of the LORD stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations.
12 xBlessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people whom he has ychosen as his heritage!
13 The LORD zlooks down from heaven;
he sees all the children of man;
14 from awhere he sits enthroned he blooks out
on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds.
16 cThe king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 dThe war horse is a false hope for salvation,
and by its great might it cannot rescue.
18 Behold, ethe eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,
fon those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may gdeliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in hfamine.
20 Our soul iwaits for the LORD;
he is our jhelp and kour shield.
21 For our heart is lglad in him,
because we mtrust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
-This psalm begins with a call to worship God and follows with reasons why His people should shout for joy and sing to Him a new song. As we follow through each section of verses, we will respond with prayers of thanksgiving, adoration, confession and supplication.
–(Read aloud Psalm 33:1-3) “Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.”
–“God, we come before you today, each in different circumstances. We know that no matter how we feel, or whether we find ourselves atop a mountain or journeying through a valley, you are worthy of our praise. May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in your sight. May we focus on who you are today, and may the remembrance of that bring you much glory, and us great joy.”
–(Read aloud Psalm 33:4-9) “For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD. By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.”
-God is powerful. His word is mighty. We see this displayed in creation: by His spoken word, the heavens were made; by His outbreath, the hosts of heaven. The mighty waters of the deep are gathered at His command. He is worthy of our fear and awe.
–“God, we praise you because your word expresses the very best of motives. When you speak, what you command produces its effect. You are a faithful and loving God. By your word, the heavens and earth were spoken into existence. We stand today, a people in awe of who you are and all you have done. May we see you as you are, God—Mighty, Creator, Artist, Lover, Sustainer. We praise you that you’ve got this. May we fear you rightly.”
-Briefly take a moment to tell your prayer partner how you’ve seen God’s power and steadfast love in your life recently. Take turns praying aloud a simple prayer of praise and gratitude for His power displayed in each other’s lives.
–(Read aloud Psalm 33:10-12) “The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the people. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!”
–“God, we thank you that your purposes stand forever. We praise you, because no power can stand against you. We thank you for continually showing us grace and bringing us to humility through the thwarting of our plans. Forgive us for the times we have doubted your goodness and your faithfulness. You are such a good God and sovereign leader. Thank you for choosing us! May we pass on a heritage of joyful submission to your purposes and plans.”
-Perhaps today you’re wondering how God could be working good in your current circumstance. Or maybe you’re frustrated that your plans have not worked out the way you hoped. Take a few moments to confess to your prayer partner any resentment, anger, or distrust of the Lord’s plans. Follow your confessions by a simple prayer, a declaration of trust in God and in His perfect plan.
–(Read aloud Psalm 33:13-19) “The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds. The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.”
-In Old Testament days, chariots and horses were means of protection and escape. Today, our “chariots and horses” come with different labels, yet they are no better off for providing salvation. God alone can deliver us.
–“LORD, we praise you that you are El Roi, The God Who Sees. We praise you that you are high above the earth and yet look upon us and observe all our deeds. Who are we, that you are mindful of us? We thank you that you see and you care. We confess that we often rely upon our own strength or that of our spouses, friends, or pastors instead of seeking you, our Great Deliverer. We confess that we so often run to blogs, social media, Netflix, shopping and binge eating before we turn to you and to your word. Help us, in our weakness, to place our hope in you alone and in your steadfast love. May you be our might. May we see our need for rescue and cling to the arms of our Almighty Savior. Thank you for saving us.”
–(Read aloud Psalm 33: 20-22) “Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.”
–“God, you are our help and our protection. We trust in who you are. May our hearts find great joy and gladness in you. May we rest today, knowing you are sovereign, you are good, you are mighty. We are confident that your purposes and plans are right and true. Help us to continually hope in you. When we fear and question and our emotions threaten to cloud out truth, bring us back to your word. Remind us of your faithfulness. In your steadfast love, help us to trust in your beautiful, holy name. For your glory among the nations and for the joy of your people.”
-Take turns praying aloud for one another in response to Psalm 33.
-(Say together) “Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.”
*All Scripture passages are taken from the ESV.
*Some commentary was derived from the ESV Study Bible.
*Additional commentary taken from “Lord, I Want to Know You,” by Kay Arthur